Regents elect new chair and vice chair

They will play a leading role in the search for a new University president.
June 13, 2009

The Board of Regents elected a new chair and vice chair at their meeting Friday.
A nominating committee had been appointed by the current chairwoman, Patricia Simmons.
That committee, which was made up of three regents and chaired by Regent Anthony Baraga, met three times. They nominated current Vice Chairman Clyde Allen for chair and Regent Linda Cohen for vice chair. The two were elected unanimously at Friday’s meeting.
Both accepted their elections and expressed gratitude.
“To all of the Regents and Regent Allen, I will do anything I can to assist you in your position as chair and to help the board function very effectively,” Cohen said at the meeting.
As University President Bob Bruininks’s term expires in 2011 and he has publicly stated that he doesn’t plan to seek an extension, it’s expected that the Board of Regents, within the next two years, will undertake the task of selecting a new University president, University spokesman Dan Wolter said.
As the board’s new leadership, Allen and Cohen will be responsible for conducting the search.
Allen will appoint a search committee and have a leading role in determining the process of the search, Allen said.
Aside from presiding over board meetings, the chair is responsible for communicating with the president, appointing committees and acting as a spokesperson for the entire Board of Regents.
“There’s a lot more conversation that goes on between administration and the chair than there is the full board,” he said.
The vice chair has no specific responsibilities assigned except to assist and act as a sounding board for the chair, he said. The vice chair also has to be prepared to substitute for the chair.
Currently the vice chairman of the board, Allen said a lot of people had been urging him to be a candidate for chair.
“I’ve really thoroughly enjoyed the board, and it is an honor,” he said. “I think I can contribute something, too, so I said yes.”
During his term, Allen said one of his goals is to see the Board of Regents improve its long-term financial planning.
The two-year term of the new leadership begins July 1.

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